Home Browsers How to get more out of Edge (and bolster its security)

How to get more out of Edge (and bolster its security)

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I use Edge, the built-in browser in Windows, though I’m very much in the minority. I even think it has the potential to be a better browser than Firefox or Chrome. Case in point: the recent “Super Duper Secure Mode” that has rolled out to the default Edge version after being in beta channels for several weeks. (Let’s call it the “SDSM” setting.)

As noted in a past Edge blog post, SDSM provides additional security features that allows you to disable just-in-time Javascript and then enable Controlflow-Enforcement Technology (CET) instead. Just-in-time Javascript has been used in many zero-day browser attacks in the past — thus, blocking it will help protect our systems and platforms going forward. In my testing so far, I have not seen any side effects running Edge in this mode, even when doing online shopping or banking.

Do you want your security balanced or strict?

If you use Edge, or are considering using it, I recommend that you try the following settings:

Launch Edge and click on the three dots to go into the settings menu. In the search settings box, type in Security. Now, scroll to the section called “Enable Security mitigations for a more secure browser experience.” Click on Balanced, which adds security protection for sites you don’t visit often. You can even go one more level and click on Strict, which boosts security for all sites. (If you have issues with any site, you can click on Exceptions and add websites you want to exclude from this setting.)

secure edge Microsoft

Users can choose varying levels of security in Edge.

While you’re there, review the setting for “Blocking potentially unwanted applications.” This blocks downloads of low-reputation apps that might cause unexpected behaviors. Especially if you download from various websites, this helps block any apps that could be malicious.

While I love the SDSM mode in Edge, I’m not a fan of some of the other settings included in the Edge browser beta testing process. One add-on, in particular, I hope Microsoft drops — or, at a minimum, allows me to block — is the “Buy now, pay later” setting. It lets online shoppers break up purchase payments into equal installments, often interest-free, so they get the item up front, instead of having to wait until it’s paid in full.

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